A novel form of coronavirus originating in China late last year has spread globally. There is no vaccine for this particular type of corona, named COVID-19. I won’t list the morbidity and mortality statistics here because they are changing by the hour and news coverage is widespread and nearly constant. It is important that we listen to and read reputable news sources. Social media and even some government representatives can be misleading. We need scientific statistics, not hunches.
I have known for some time that there are a few things that should be on hand at home if we are to be prepared, but I have not followed through. Today I plan to at least be sure I have some extra food and over-the-counter remedies available in addition to the gloves, masks, and disinfectants that I already have in stock.
Prepare For What?
Isolation – staying at home to protect yourself from others
Infection – staying at home to protect others from yourself
There is no dearth of good information available regarding what to do to protect ourselves from this virus. It includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and new greetings to take the place of handshakes. I’m not going to outline them here.
We know that should we become ill with flu-like symptoms we should isolate ourselves from others and treat the symptoms. If developing a fever or in the case of more serious symptoms we should go to a healthcare facility where they may or may not have test kits for COVID-19. Regardless, the more serious symptoms and complications can be treated by health care professionals when the virus is too serious for self-treatment.
Older individuals and those weakened by other diseases are most susceptible to more serious complications. Some thought should be given to who would care for such individuals in your family should they contract COVID-19.
At this point, we do not know how much worse this situation will become, but we have all the information necessary to plan and make the most of what could be a horrific pandemic. Test kits are lacking, there will not be a vaccine for 12-18 months, but we have information that is crucial even if it sounds too simple, like “do not touch your face.”
Are You Prepared?
“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Now that you have a puppy on your lap as you read your book and have regular checkups with your female doctor what else can you do to stay alive?
Next: Stay Out of the Hospital!
There was a time when the term “hospital clean” meant sterile and spotless. Today, unfortunately, the meaning could be the opposite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists nineteen nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections three of which are antibiotic resistant. These can be life-threatening infections and they are transmitted in various ways including, but not limited to, patient to patient. Viruses and bacteria can also be spread by health care workers, contamination of furniture and other articles and through the air.
Hazards other than infection can result from surgery, treatment, immobility, and falls. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tracks the rate of the following complications resulting from hospitalization: (notes are parentheses are mine)
Perioperative Pulmonary Embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot during surgery)
Postoperative Sepsis (serious, often life-threatening, infection of blood or other tissue)
Postoperative Wound Dehiscence (incision opening following surgery)
Unrecognized Abdominopelvic Accidental Puncture/Laceration (accident in surgery of the abdomen or pelvis)
What Can You Do?
There are times when hospitalization cannot be avoided. During those times one has little choice but given the option of outpatient care that is usually the best recourse. Understanding the risk of infection, in particular, should make one hesitant about visitation in hospitals. Situations vary and there are times when a hospitalized patient needs someone with them. If that is not the case protect yourself and them by waiting until they return home for visits.
“A hospital is no place to be sick.” Samuel Goldwyn
Writing this reminds me of many years ago when I was in the hospital for a couple of days. My then eleven year-old daughter gave me a book for a gift when I left home to have surgery. Although I no longer have that book, I clearly remember the title, “Staying Alive!” Thanks for the smiles, Allison!